Tag Archives: childhood

Mermaids Every Summer

The aquarium, soft and shining blue as the captive fish swim and turn away,

from us all.

Little children with happy mothers watch in awe at the bright fish, watch them

with encompassing grace.

In an hour, mermaids, women in silicone tails so bright in hue, will come and

perform for us.

Wave and smile and blow heart shapes in bubbles from blown kisses, as happy

songs play.

I come for mermaids every summer, in love with others half way between loss

and home.

I sit in the back of the gallery in front of the tank where they will perform for us,

stake my place.

I listen to sad and longing songs on my earbuds, waiting, the blue soothing, gentle,

as believing children

make a better claim on summer, holding onto the hands of their happy mothers,

who remain earthly.

A little while to go, and the mermaids will come to perform, and a childhood I

discarded will come close.

Sad and longing songs on my earbuds, the blue the only soft light left anywhere,

and summer is here.

 

Amen To Wild Days

The recording she sent me, of our old stories of private gods and our valorous children,
has the cold wind of roaring February blowing her straight brown hair and her soft and
gossamer voice.
She sits in the field, our once mighty and eternal kingdom that has faded now, just a field,
as we have grown up, and the tales just slip away forever, you cannot hold them close,
cannot remain that child, even if you never grow up.
My tattering and navy blue hoodie, the one I gave her when I left for the war, from
Weeki Wachee springs, our last childhood adventure, all of sixteen, all out of grace,
the summer when mermaids were taking us down.
She wears it, and her t-shirt of the painting of Diane the Huntress, and blue jeans and
black boots, steel toed for her job, as she sits with our leather bound book of tales,
our own private holy writ of gods now lost.
Her soft, dark eyes cast down, light brown hair blowing over her face, the wind the edge
of tears in her voice as it swirls it up and whips the gossamer like spider webs in the gale,
ripping apart to send to the ancient kingdoms.
I watch this, laying down in my bunk, on my aging smartphone, still good enough for us,
and the working she is sending, of the brave monarchs we once were, the gods who adored us,
and the children we made out of dreams and voices.
I am away at the war, and her, with her mental illness, stayed behind, and she sends her magic,
her voice, our dreams, to me to protect me and anoint me and keep me safe, from friend and enemy,
and The Red Dragons that eats up children’s hearts.
Reaching the end, she closes the book, closes her eyes, says sacred words I cannot hear or pronounce,
and then looks into her little camera as if to look me in the eye, and smiles, beautiful and sad,
then says there will be another child coming from as last night together, this one in the usual way.
She turns off the camera, I turn off the video, and sit in the dark, the stars in the barracks window,
the stars all secret gods and valorous children that has been lost but still light the night and the dark,
and ours watch over us even know, in the war that will be The Red Dragon’s finally victory.
Amen to mad days, and the ones left behind. Amen to brave tales, and our loss that makes us sweet.
Amen to her, and what might yet be.

Teal II

Her hair dyed mint and teal, like summer.

A Holy Afternoon, she’s shelving books.

In pages I’m looking for God, Home and

a young woman named Alexandria.

That hair of hers, the color of a favorite toy,

a ’65 Mustang, I pretended to drive to LA.

What worlds does she know, what worlds shine,

in soft brown eyes, in the curated childhood chapel?

It might not be Pandemonium in me, not even a suburb,

just a lens that needs cleansed, and maybe we’d be infinite.

I make jokes checking out, and try to make them magic spells.

It never seems right to ask about a show down at the club.

But words I use to try and find the sky, and learn her truth,

and capture the light in these lines, that shine from soft, brown eyes.

Coming Into The Light

I look at this photograph, hidden away, coming into the light.

               You Ellie, all of fifteen, hair still long, last name still Doremy.

               Smiling, you were absolutely free, and feeling angel wings grow.

               Invisible, but they would carry you, to the stars that were your home.

 

               Now, you and I heading close to forty, with a modest but sweet life.

               You play with the cat, which is amused, then indifferent, then hostile.

               You’re starting to show, our child coming from void into flesh and bone.

               You carry your scars well, but they’re there, still dimmed the starlight.

 

               That winter, that church party, we fell in love, fell into the sun, blameless.

               We were allowed to dance, adequately separated, but still holding on.

               You looked into my eyes, the angel unfurling, the wings carry us on high

               Though our feet we’re touching earth, we were carried to a better elsewhere.

 

               The world goes on, and the blood is shed, the dreams dimmed, the darkness come.

               We fall from innocence, take our bites of the apple, and learn our bare, sad shame.

               We are still sweet, still retain the light, can still sometimes touch heaven, still here.

               The child you carry, will be a glory and angel innocence, but become fallen like us.

 

               Outside, the snow falling, the stars not there to bear witness, you pulled me near.

               Our flashed and cold faces, our pale lips touched, a kiss clandestine and innocent.

               Our first kiss, and the dream began, and the moment that God gave us came here.

               One moment to lift us to on high, you wings carrying us, to were stars always shone.

 

              

              

Heaven’s Tattered Ways

I believed, when I was a girl, that a mermaid lived in the little grotto that formed in the bend of the dark, slow river that ran behind my house. The hill past the little back yard dropped severly, and was covered in verdant trees and mossy rocks and tall, wild grass. The little grotto was shaded and secret.

               I always swam there in the humid heat of an East Tennessee summer. The cold water made me shiver even in the hot season. I always sang to her, knowing that mermaids sang to people to keep them to come to them. I called out to her that I meant her no harm and I was her friend. She never came, though I always knew it was because she was shy.

               My bedroom was in the back of the house, my bed right against the window. We had no air conditioning so in summer I always slept with my window open, hoping for a cool breeze to ward off how stuffy and sticky the air felt. And in those summer months, as I drifted to sleep looking up at the sky full of stars and shepherded by Mother Moon, I’d talk to the mermaid, down in the little grotto. I could tell her anything, for she loved me and used her magic to protect me. I always knew she was there for me.

 

               I am a grown woman now. My daughter is asleep, curled up in a little ball of pink and bows on the couch, cartoons running mindlessly on the TV, though mercifully muted. She holds the stuffed mermaid I gave her close, her best and truest friend. I didn’t even realize what I was giving her when I bought it for her. A mermaid protected me; a mermaid would protect her.

               All the windows are open in the living room, but the air is still and the day is hot and even just sitting still on the couch I am sticky with sweat and finding it hard to breathe, like I need gills to breath this wet air.

               I decide to go for a walk.

               I leave my daughter sleeping and walk to the back of the house and down the wild, unkempt hill to the little grotto. It’s not as dark and hidden now, as blight and insects have killed several of the trees that shaded it. There are still patches of shade, and they are soothing.

               I walk to the very stone edge of the grotto and sit down. The stone is cool and I feel it on my skin beneath the seat of my jeans. I feel overwhelmed now, back in the secret place that nurtured me as a child, through all the hard times and wanting to escape and hiding everything inside and smiling brightly like a good girl should. This was my Eden, Neverland and Narnia, my place beyond the world.

               I sing. I sing to call the mermaid up from the dark cold waters. I sing to call back something I’ve lost and that was precious to me. The sense that there was magic in the world, and I could slip between the cracks into something wonderous, and that my mermaid really did watch out for me. That someone was watching out for me.

              

               “Over dark seas and endless days,

               over starless dark and devil’s ways,

               over lost moon and the hope of sunrays,

               to know at last heaven’s tattered ways.”

              

               I sing those words, that mantra that called her into my mind, that let me know she was there and that her magic kept me alive and safe when everything went all too shambles. I sing them and I don’t see her and my heart crushes into itself and I hang my head and my hands start to weep. After everything that’s happened not this too!

               I start to get up again, and walk back to the house, and I hope compose myself before my little girl wakes up because I will not let her so me cry, when something in the water catches my eye.

               It’s her! My mermaid! Her golden hair a halo and crown, her beautiful aquamarine face looking up from the depths. And she smiles at me.

              

Chasing A Kiss

“Tag!” You cry. “You’re it!”
And you run into the woods,
 white dress stark against
 the dark blue twilight.
I chase you, following
 the slash of white
 in the darkness.
My heart racing,
 my chest fluttering,
 I try to find you.
I hear your laughter.
 I spot you from
 the corner of my eye.
Into the forest as
 the night falls
 ever and ever darker.
If I can catch you,
 if I win the game,
 you will kiss me.
I run and run and run.
 I almost catch you.
 You’re still out of reach.
I can never touch you.
 I will never kiss you.
 You never finish a dream.

Our School

Our school, bright halls, soft lights.
All the things to know, to make us bright.
Learn all day, and dream of atoms and stars.
Learn all day, and smile at you, smiling at me.
Innocent days, where knowledge was sweet.
Innocent days, learning about our world,
hurtling around a star, a light in the darkness,
and all the wonders it held, all seen and unseen.

You’re asleep beside me, our daughter cries out,
sick and feverish, and I get up to rock her to sleep,
singing a song about the sun and the moon I remember,
swaying back and forth in the rocking chair, wanting her
world to be filled with the wonders we knew, we cherished,
we so freely given, and the darkness of this new time takes away.
Eyes so full and hungry, that stare into you, wrap you inside her soul.
That I could fill them with songs of the sun, and a poem of the moon,
not the things that this dark world has become……..

Sick Day Saturday

Rainy day. A cold, winter Saturday.
A chill in my skin, even as I cook her
my special recipe chicken noodle soup.
 I look at the wet and mud, muted color.
It feel so much more real to me now,
not like the lush summers of youth.
 I ladle out the soup, trapping lots of
chicken, my girlfriend loves the chicken,
and the fat egg noodles.
 Bowl on plate, spoon in bowl,
walking carefully to where she
lays on the couch.
 My breath catches, seeing her,
my lover, my woman, still a dreamer
of fantastic worlds.
 Wrapped in a blue blanket, wearing
her favorite hoodie, nose all the way
in an old Mighty Maid comic, from long ago.
 She’s kept something I’ve lost, an innocence,
a purity and hope, a belief in a better world
and the holiness of our heroes.
 Mighty Maid, like when we were young,
and she’s get a piece of that girl inside her,
where I’m just bitter, waiting for the fall.
 Like a sick day from school, curled up on
the couch, wrapped in the armor of blankets,
lost in dream worlds, fantastic places.
 So lost in the world beyond her, so ready to fly.
I watch her for a moment, just entranced by her,
her sweetness, her angelic light.
 She looks up, smiles, puts down the comic as I
place the steaming hot soup on the coffee table.
I kiss her head, her cheek, her cute little nose.
 She smiles, and starts to eat the chicken soup.
We talk, about the high and perfect days past,
about what we plan to do, once married, on our own.
 She curls up to nap, and I kiss her cheek, see her smile.
I go back to the kitchen to clean up, and see the sun coming,
and for a moment, for my lover, I believe in the light.

Only From Angels

She is a ghost, grey gossamer and a breath of a chill.
In this summer hot attic, full of mold and dust,
I come to see her.
Her eyes see me, and her words and distant bells.
I tell her of the world outside, and how nothing changes.
She tells me of fields of wild flowers
and napping by a clear, silver brook, and of the darkness
that was ever outside the corner of her eye, and the song
that came only from angels.
The chill is soothing, and in the hot quiet, we dream together,
our thoughts and memories mingled like fresh air and jasmine,
as the sun marches on.
She loves me. We cannot touch. She loves me. I cherish it.
The world outside is sorrow and disonnection, trying to catch eyes.
She loves me, and that is enough.